Skunks can be a real issue in the yard. Not only could you stumble into one for an unpleasant surprise after dark, they can also damage your lawn and flower beds as they root for the insects they feast upon. Fortunately, skunks aren't climbers so it's possible to fence them out. The following tips can help you modify your existing fence so it's skunk-proof.
Tip #1: Narrow the pickets
Skunks can easily squeeze between the spaces between an open picket style fence. This doesn't mean you need a new fence, though. You can keep the open look but add nearly invisible mesh fencing to one side so a skunk can't squeeze through the gaps. Simply stretch the mesh fencing tautly behind the existing fence and tack it into place. You can even purchase nylon mesh in the same color as the fence so that it blends in and isn't as noticeable.
Tip #2: Mind the gap
Another easy entrance for skunks is the gap at the bottom of many fences. These can be especially wide if the fence is installed over uneven ground. You can install chicken wire fencing along the bottom of the fence to block off this gap so a skunk can't squeeze beneath. A board, installed horizontally like a lower rail, can also be used to cover the gap. Just don't try to hide the gap with just bushes, since this just makes the area more protected and welcoming to a skunk.
Tip #3: Stop any digging
Skunks can dig. They don't tend to dig deeply, but they will snuffle out a shallow depression to help them fit beneath a fence. If you are already skirting the bottom of the fence with chicken wire, bury the bottom of it several inches into the ground to prevent digging. For a more permanent fix, install concrete curbing beneath the fence all along the fence line. As an added bonus, you won't need to trim over grown grass from right against the fence boards anymore if you have curbing.
Tip #4: Watch the gate
With the fence secure, the gate is the biggest weak link. Gates must sit slightly above ground to swing freely, which gives a lot of open gaps for a skunk. Install boards on the sides of the gate to cover the gaps – this makes it so the gate only swings one way, though. Also, extend the gate almost to the ground and install a concrete threshold to make crawling under difficult.
For more help in keeping pests out of your yard, talk to a fencing contractor like Soldier Fencing LLC.